Local News

Convicted Felon Indicted on 5 Counts of Murder

Posted December 11, 2007

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— A Wake County grand jury has indicted a convicted felon on five counts of murder in connection with a series of homicides dating back to May 2006.

Last month, Samuel James Cooper, 30, of Raleigh, was arrested and charged with five counts in connection with four Raleigh Police Department unsolved homicides and one Wake County Sheriff's Office homicide case.

Cooper was indicted on four counts Monday and one count Tuesday.

Wake County sheriff's investigators say Cooper shot and killed Ossama "Sam" Haj-Hussein, 43, on May 12, 2006.

Raleigh police believe Cooper shot and killed LeRoy Jernigan, 41, of Clayton, less than a month later.

Cooper is also charged in the April 27 death of Timothy David Barnwell, 34; the Oct. 12 death of Ricky High, 48; and the Oct. 14 death of Tariq Hussain, 52.

According to court records, Cooper has a criminal record dating from 1993 in Wake County. It includes 10 arrests, 19 charges, including assault on a police officer, escape from prison, robbery, assault on a female, drug charges and larceny.

He is being held in the Wake County Jail without bond.